Article by Melanie Cost Young originally published at https://www.dupontfund.org/
The Activating Jacksonville’s Riverfront project is designed to provide recommendations for how to bring people, energy, and connectivity to the entire downtown riverfront on the North and South Bank. We are actively engaging the input from Jaxsons across the city—through a public meeting; conversations with our three stakeholder groups representing a wide range of business, nonprofit, and individual community interests; neighborhood meetings and visioning exercises hosted by our partner Groundwork Jacksonville; conversations with other highly engaged organizations including Riverfront Parks Now and AIA; preliminary conversations with the Downtown Investment Authority; and a City-wide survey that is still ongoing.
Our goal is to recommend opportunities for the riverfront that will make it an engaging, inclusive space for all, by all. Learn more »
Shipyards Property as a Test Fit
An aerial of the former Kids Kampus site.
The Shipyards property—including Metropolitan Park and the former Kids Kampus site—represent one portion of that activated riverfront. We saw importance in focusing on the Shipyards given the high degree of community interest in seeing that property activated successfully, and the proposed developments being considered there.
As part of our work, the Activating Jacksonville’s Riverfront team worked closely with the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) to envision options for this property. Led by urban planning and design studio WXY and cultural planners at DVDL, the team has developed 1) a set of people-centered principles for considering any potential development on the Shipyards property, and 2) Conceptual Space Plans that focus on connectivity, parks, activations, and interactions with the water. These principles and concepts are designed to integrate public and private development.
Shipyards Conceptual Plans Design Overview
The conceptual space plan developed by WXY with DVDL envisions a total of 49.5 acres of public park space with a variety of passive and active programs. The plan features multiple layers of connected paths running from a new public park West of Hogans Creek (starting at Catherine St) to a reimagined Metropolitan Park at the east, with cultural venues and institutions located throughout. A raised green esplanade would serve as the resilient edge throughout the park and protect development and neighborhoods to the north from flooding and sea-level rise. A gently rising pier would create signature views and vantage points from the park, offering an iconic overlook onto the St. Johns River and the Jacksonville skyline.
This plan was developed with significant input from the aforementioned conversations, as well as preliminary conversations with DIA and Iguana Investments.
It is important to note that these are NOT renderings or master plans—they are resources designed to inform any conversations among the City, local organizations and developers about how best to create an active, inclusive space at the Shipyards.
View the principles and conceptual plans